Finding Balance in Bali
This is part 3 of a 4 part series about a recent trip we took to Bali
Every morning, I do manage to find some time to myself. One day, I make my way over to the 7:30am yoga class, taught gently by a smiling Balinese man named Gina. Despite being both fit and flexible, Gina is patient with those who have never done this before, or who cannot touch their toes. He encourages balance, forward bends counteracted by backwards ones, the left side worked on exactly as much as the right. It is just what I need to hear on a spiritual vacation as I practice the art of balance.
Another morning I follow the signs that say “nature walk”, down the steep mossy steps to a stone Balinese bathing fountain, past a splashing waterfall, along the river which marks the edge of the Maya property. I walk past plants whose leaves unfurl so large over my head that I could take shelter in a rainstorm. I see geckos and lizards, blue birds with orange throats, red-winged dragonflies. I feel so far away from my life back home, so blissfully surrounded on my Bali spiritual tour by ways of life I usually don’t take time to see.
On the last day of our trip, we have given the group the whole day off. We will gather in the evening for our spectacular farewell dinner (150 dancers and a four course Balinese meal) but today, Greg and I are going to the spa. Having toured the place my first morning, visiting both the individual and couples suites, I have booked the newest couples suite, which faces the river, two stories down. In addition to the two massage tables, it has a resting pavilion, a round aluminum bathtub big enough for both of us, private lockers, and outdoor side-by-side showers, all under the high thatched roof that I have come to think of as the Maya’s signature design. This is where we will spend the next two hours – talk about spiritual travel!
While Greg gets foot reflexology, I begin with a Balinese massage. It is similar to what I am used to in any massage, but the strokes are longer and the tiny girl never exerts too much or too little pressure, using only her hands. Draping is observed, and I never feel like I am showing too much skin at any one time. The sound of the river stands in for the usual spa music, and I am transported to a place of tranquil rest, the soft breeze occasionally wafting the smell of the jasmine oil the masseuse uses. As Greg moves into a Balinese massage, I receive a ginger and tangerine body scrub (my other options included something that smelled decidedly like curry). This is unlike any other scrub I have had – a powder is rubbed into each body part and then brushed off, taking the dead skin, but causing no discomfort. Afterwards, the therapist slathers my whole body in fresh yogurt and directs me to the outdoor shower.
My spiritual tour of the spa is nearly complete, and Greg and I meet back in the suite looking refreshed and a little dazed, like something blissful has taken a permanent spot in our hearts.